Friday, June 02, 2006

Reaching to unplug the phone...

I often read in the journals of pregnant gals that once the due date strikes, the phone calls and emails begin to flood in, asking "Have you had the baby yet?" That blows my mind. We know people care! So could loved ones really think that we would have a baby and not tell them within a reasonable period of time?

Reasonable (in my mind):
For close family and friends, tell them on the day of the birth (or the day after, if too much is going on.)

For family and friends one sees now and then, tell them within the next week or two, once everyone is home and resting.

For Aunt Jean in Texas whom one has never met, put a note in the Christmas card.

Mind you, our friend Dan blows that theory all to shit. He and his wife are good pals of ours, even though we see them just a few times a year. They had a baby last year, due June 14, born June 22. We had last seen them the December prior, when Dan's wife was about 12 weeks along and starting to announce it. June came and went, and we heard nothing, and often wondered aloud to each other if they had the baby. We were all afraid to phone them, in case something had gone terribly wrong, but we thought that surely they would have called us sometime that summer if all had gone well.

Nope. We waited and waited. Finally, last December, Dan called and asked us if we wanted to visit for a night of cards and debauchery. I managed to ask, nervously, if they had produced offspring, and indeed they had. He felt sheepish, but explained that he felt funny phoning people and saying, "So, we had a baby. Mmmmkay, bye!"

I can understand that. B and I both HATE phoning people, and are not fond of attention. Neither of us is comfortable saying, "Hey, look what we did! Be happy for us!" But we will be good, and not leave people wondering all summer. We know they care. There's a fine line between withdrawing from unwanted attention and keeping people in the dark unfairly, but we're usually very good. I hope that people can trust us that way, and keep their itchy little fingers away from the phone, or it will be damned annoying.


Blogger Kathleen said...

Do you have a 'phone tree'?

The deal with that is that you set up a very small number of people whom you call directly with the good news. It is then their job to relay the information to a list of people (who in turn may be in charge of announcing the news to another list of people).

For example, for us I think it was:
- My parents: to announce to my entire family
- Sean's mom: to announce to his entire family
- Our friend Arthur: to announce to all our SCA friends
- Our friend Jenn: to announce to all our non-SCA friends
- My boss: to announce to my coworkers
- Sean's boss: to announce to his coworkers

With email lists and various other online community vehicles these days, none of this takes a big amount of work for anyone.

And of course, you can always blog about it: "Baby is here. More details coming later. Much later. Love, G."


June 02, 2006 2:58 p.m.  
Blogger Mrs. M. said...

Yas indeed. The phone tree will be in full effect. I'm sure that B's parents, as well as my father and my Aunt, will be happy to oblige. I think I'll also get an email group set up so that I can just fill in the details and hit "send" when we get home from the hospital and have had time for a stiff drink, erm, I mean to rest a bit. ;P

Did you get a whack of calls around the due date, or were your friends and relatives able to sit on their hands until they got news?

June 02, 2006 3:30 p.m.  
Blogger Kathleen said...

My situation was somewhat weird. I went into labour two days before my due date and had DD on the due date itself (I know, I know, I'm a statistical anomaly - moreover, I shouldn't be scaring you with stories of two-day labours).

So what happened were panicked calls from a friend (on our phone tree) who'd happened to call on Friday and gotten our 'Kathleen's in labour, we'll call you when it's over' answering machine message, and had then heard nothing for over 24 hours and was freaking out. I think I remember Sean finally answering the phone and saying, "Kathleen is about to push. We'll let you know when there is news. PLEASE STOP CALLING." He stopped calling. :)

June 06, 2006 6:56 a.m.  

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